Calpe Famous for its Rock
A beautiful natural landscape, breathtaking beaches, a marina and great food.
Motorhome Aire in Calpe,
In the Province of Alicante, Spain
GPS: N 38° 38’56” E 0° 04’02”
A popular holiday destination on the Costa Blanca is Calpe. It is a seaside town well known for its blue-flag beaches, azure waters, warm weather and the stunning Penon de Ifach, which characterises the coastline. Calpe’s many great beaches and coves are said to be the best on the Valencian coast. Among the best known are Arenal-Bol and La Fossa, although we prefer the small coves such as Cala de Raco or Calalga, or less crowded areas such as Playa Cantal Roig.
From Javea, we stopped off for the morning to have coffee with our friends Lorraine and David in Moraira before travelling on the short distance to Calpe. We thoroughly enjoyed travelling the coast road between Moraira and Calpe as it is absolutely beautiful.
The Aire in Calpe had been recommended to us from some of the AutoTrail owner’s rally, who had stayed at the site two weeks before.
We had in fact, passed the Aire and the ACSI campsite, which was nearby, on a previous trip to Spain but at that time had decided not to stay because we felt it was too far away from the seafront and town so drove on to the next town. It turns out we were wrong and it was quite an easy walk or cycle along the cycle paths.
The Aire is quite good as Aires go, with a toilet, shower, washing machine and wifi all for 10 euros a night. It is situated at the back of the lagoon where the pink flamingos are. There were plenty of supermarkets in walking distance with a choice of a Lidl, Aldi, Mercadonna or Consum,
The afternoon we arrived in Calpe we took a stroll along Calpe’s beachfront promenade just making it into a small bar as it started to rain. The bar we took shelter in was playing some great music and it was nice just sitting watching other people rushing to get out of the rain or just getting wet. Once we had finished our drink and the rain had stopped we walked on further towards the town stopping off at a restaurant for dinner.
The following morning we rode our bikes down to the stylish and bustling Marina which is next to the old fishing port. It’s the other side of the stunning rock of Ifach which is the huge rock Calpe is famous for. It rises 332 metres out of the Mediterranean sea and is really quite impressive and undoubtedly one of the greatest attractions of Calpe. It is also a protected nature reserve.
If you are feeling energetic you can hike to the top of the rock and experience breathtaking views in all directions. From the top on a clear day, you can see the island of Formentera and the cape of Santa Pola. About three-quarters of the way up is a tunnel carved through the rock which you can walk through. There is a rope on the side of the walls to help you keep your balance. Once you get past the tunnel you have a bit further to climb before you reach the summit. The hike to the summit is recommended for experienced hikers and mountaineers though. If you do attempt it make sure you are wearing the appropriate footwear.
There are more fish restaurants on this side which are well priced and it has a slightly different feel to the other side. I spotted a shoe shop while we were out and left Ray guarding the bikes (we couldn’t be bothered to lock them up as didn’t think we were going to be long). I ended up being in there quite a while though and bought 2 pairs of sandals and a handbag.
We cycled to the other side of the rock and stopped at a bar to share a big dish of fruit & ice cream after which because we were enjoying sitting in the sun in such a lovely spot we had a glass of wine. It was nice watching the windsurfers and people walking past. In particular the looky, looky men selling their wares and then every now and then getting the nod from a lookout and packing their bags etc into a big sheet and fleeing across the beach. The next thing you saw was two policemen on motorbikes driving along the promenade watching them until they disappeared. It wasn’t long though before they were all back setting up again.
After about 2 hours sitting comfortably passing the time we continued cycling to the end of the promenade. We parked the bikes up outside a small café in the old town. We are always very security conscious and try to park in busy areas and outside cafes, if at all possible as then, would be thieves can’t be sure you are not sitting there watching them.
The old streets of the town centre feature some lovely historic sights including the old walls of the town and the Iglesia Viela church.
We enjoyed wandering around the shops as they were just starting to open up after the siesta and climbed the very steep hills into the historic quarter.
The old town of Calpe (especially at night) is wonderful. Walking through its cobbled and narrow streets you can enjoy the remains of the wall and feel its atmosphere.
In addition to the walls and the charm of walking through the streets, you can visit the Torrero del la Peca which is now the Museo del Coleccionismo as well as the two churches.
We also enjoyed seeing the beautifully landscaped homes dotting the hillside.